Kai Havertz believes Chelsea’s 2-0 victory over Bournemouth can spark a winning run in the Premier League after a faltering spell before the World Cup.
The Blues, who had lost their previous three matches before Qatar 2022 to slip out of the top six, got back on track on Tuesday as early goals from Havertz and Mason Mount saw them ease past the Cherries at Stamford Bridge.
“I was delighted to score but the main thing was to get the win and that’s huge for us,” Havertz told Chelsea’s website.
“The win and the goals will hopefully give us confidence going forward. We lost three before the World Cup break so it was important we got the victory in the first game back, so we are very happy to do this.”
The German international added: “We have to keep winning and this period coming up is going to be crucial for us.
“We are going to give our best in the next games to get on a run and this is a fantastic start for us.”
Havertz was given a central striker role by Chelsea boss Graham Potter against Bournemouth and proved himself at home in the position as he slid to turn in Raheem Sterling’s cross.
“I know the vision that Raheem has and he likes to play those sort of balls. It was the perfect pass to me, with the right weight on the cross,” Havertz said.
“I was in the right position and I was very happy to score.
“The coach gives me the freedom to do whatever I like on the pitch and I like to be expressive on the ball, so it’s good.
“I like to play free and to get into the box and he’s told me to do that more, so I was happy that it paid off with the goal.”
But Chelsea full-back Reece James said 2022 had been his “toughest year to date” after suffering a fresh injury setback against Bournemouth.
The England international missed the World Cup in Qatar due to a knee problem but was on the field at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday only to go off after an hour with what appeared to be a recurrence of the same injury and he left the west London ground wearing a knee brace.
“2022 has been the toughest year to date,” James said on Twitter. “Just wanna thank you all for the support, none of you go unnoticed.
“It’s naturally effected me mentally, I’m currently just tryna (trying to) deal with the cards I’ve been dealt. I hope your end of year is filled with peace, joy and happiness.”
James sustained his initial knee problem in October during a Champions League fixture with AC Milan.
Chelsea, now six points adrift of the top four are next in action at Nottingham Forest on New Year’s Day.